Day 10 Of The Confident Rider Challenge
Every once in a while during training we should be giving our horses a day off. Let me rephrase that, a day off from training. But just because we are giving our horses a day off from physical training in the arena, that doesn’t mean we won’t be doing something with our horses!
You can still do training, without your horse thinking he is being worked. So even though Ethan is getting a day off from the hard physical work that he has been getting the last week and a half, he will still be getting some attention from me.
On the days where I won’t be working on groundwork, or riding him, I will spend some extra time grooming him. And these are like deep grooming sessions. In fact, I have been using my curry comb so much on both horses for the past 3 months that I need a new curry, because the rubber has been worn out! So even though he will be getting the day off, sort of, he will still have to stand tied, and be around me.
A Day Of Pampering
Plan on just spending time grooming your horse today. You don’t need anything fancy, your regular tools will work just fine. Your horse will appreciate the extra attention. And even though he doesn’t think he is being worked today, he is getting a lesson in patience. He has to stand patiently for the grooming. If you have to leave him for a moment or two to go grab something you forgot, he will have to stand there alone. I promise, he will be ok for a moment on his own. It teaches him to be calm, and that it’s ok to just stand. And once you start massaging him, I am sure he will stand there happily.
I think Ethan does enjoy his pampering though, because he will hang his head and his eyelids droop a little bit as his back leg is cocked. And he is completely relaxed.
How To Pamper Your Horse
First I curry him all over. And then all of the dandy brushing and body brushing to really make his coat shine and spread the oils.
And then I spend about 5 minutes massaging him, either with my hands, or the massage roller. But he really seems to like the hand massage the best.
And if you have never given your horse a massage before, don’t worry, it’s easy! Just run your hands slowly and deeply across his body. Ethan really enjoys it around his withers and running back toward his tail. I think he would let me massage him for an hour or longer. He really enjoys it.
The massage roller works good too, but I think he likes when I use my hands even more.
Then he gets his face washed, and I clean out his nose and I wipe down his eyes with baby wipes. I always use a separate wipe for each eye, and each nostril so I don’t transfer anything from one area to another. I think that’s the nurse in me.
And a hoof wash and treatment with Kevlar hoof treatment. This stuff is awesome! It has Kevlar fibers in it. And I have noticed an improvement in my horses hooves since I have been using it. We will see if my farrier approves at our next appointment!
Then his mane and tail get a moisturizing treatment with the Hair Moisturizer that I did a review on a month or so ago. This stuff works really well to moisturize skin, manes and tails. And a little bit goes a long way because you add only 2 ounces of it to a full bottle of water. I really like how this helps cut down on itchiness that my horses tend to have.
When I have days like this with my horses, I think I spend more time pampering and grooming them than I would have if we went and worked for an hour or so. But it is time well spent bonding with my horse.
I am pretty sure they enjoy it, just by their overall demeanor.
Make A Day Of Quality Time With Your Horse
And after I spend that much time making them pretty, I turn them out in our small back pasture, the one with grass and just let them be horses for the day. And while they are out enjoying the grass of their pasture, I am getting busy cleaning and organizing my tack, taking inventory of my feed, and cleaning up my little red barn which is my tack room and feed room. I am getting ready for the upcoming week. Because if I have everything organized and ready to go now, I won’t have to spend that time doing those chores during the week, when I could be working with Ethan.
I also spend the afternoon grooming my riding arena, again, in anticipation for the upcoming week. I hope it doesn’t rain!
And tomorrow will be another busy day of working, so I hope Ethan is enjoying his day off today. better be enjoying their day off today
So your challenge for today is to spend some quality time grooming your horse, with no other plan than to bond with him. Find out what seems to make him the most relaxed. Does he like being massaged? Or is the curry comb his favorite part of grooming time. Make an effort to visually see what your horse enjoys when it comes to grooming him.
And if you have the ability to turn your horse out for the day, make that happen. And while your horse is getting in some pasture time, get your tack clean, and organize your grooming tote. Also check through your feed, and make sure you have enough for the upcoming week. If you don’t, or you are running low on anything, take a trip to the feed store and replenish your hay, grain, supplements or whatever you need.
Then clean and organize your feed room and tack room. Make sure everything is ready to go for the upcoming week, and get ready for a busy week of working with your horse!